How to apply for teaching assistant jobs

Teaching assistants provide valuable support to teachers in classrooms. Teaching assistants may supervise children and assist them with class assignments and school projects. Teaching assistants may also provide clerical and office duties for the teachers they support, such as keeping attendance records or filling out reports. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, training and education requirements vary by state and school district. The median wage for teaching assistants in 2008 was £14,430. Job prospects are expected to be favourable due to the high turnover rate of teaching assistants.

Check your local school district to see what the requirements are to become a teaching assistant. School district requirements can be found on school districts' individual websites or your state's department of education website.

Use a functional resume instead of a chronological resume to apply for a teaching assistant job if you don't have a lot of experience. This type of resume groups your experience by skill sets. For instance, a functional resume for a teaching assistant job could have headings under "Education," "Experience Working With Children," "Related Course Work," and "Community Activities."

Write a cover letter that details how your education and experience will help the district or school in their need for teaching assistants. Any previous experience you've had working with children, whether it was volunteering at the local library, providing child care, or taking classes in early childhood education should be included in your cover letter. Make sure the cover letter includes what you can do for the school, not the other way around.

Prepare to pass a background check, and provide fingerprints for schools and school districts hiring teaching assistants. Check your credit history to make sure there are no discrepancies that may prohibit you from getting a job.

Check the web sites of the school districts in your area; this is where job postings will be listed. You may be required to fill out an online application or e-mail your cover letter and resume to the district. If there are no teaching assistant jobs listed, call the school district directly to see if there will be upcoming teaching assistant jobs not yet listed. Ask the school district if there are other comparable jobs available.

Volunteer as a way to get your foot in the door. Many school and school districts hire volunteers, including parents, to help out in the classroom. By getting to know the teachers who are working in the school, you may have an advantage when it comes to hiring.

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Things Needed

  • Resume
  • Cover letter

About the Author

Eve Lopez has 10 years of editorial experience at a variety of companies, including, "The Seattle Times" and She loves to travel and often writes about her travel experiences. Lopez earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University and has been certified in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

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